Two foster care families have been recognised on the Wokingham Borough Mayor’s Covid Roll of Honour.
They have been selected for going the extra mile to make a difference during the pandemic and help others in the borough by Mayor Malcolm Richards and are representing all our foster carers who have done an amazing job in challenging circumstances.
Clive Chafer and Kristin Fitch, along with Dean and Charlotte Penn, both from Wokingham, have supported young people in the borough by providing a safe, loving home during the pandemic.
The council’s fostering team is currently supporting Foster Care Fortnight (10-23 May) and continues to recruit foster carers in the borough. In particular, we need people who can provide homes for school-age children, teenagers, siblings and children with disabilities.
Our fantastic foster families
The Penns have been fostering with us for more than seven years. They feel their award recognises not only their work in the borough since the start of the pandemic, but the dozens of foster families across the area.
“It is lovely to be recognised on the Wokingham roll of honour,” Dean said.
“Charlotte and I feel the nomination is recognition for all Wokingham foster carers who have done incredible work caring for some of Wokingham’s most vulnerable children over the last 14 months.
“Over the seven years we have had the opportunity to share our home with many wonderful children that have shown energy, promise and resilience despite not having the best start in their lives,” they said. “The children we had cared for have become part of our family, brought our home to life and provided great memories for us to look back on in the future.
“We still keep in touch with many of the children we have cared for and it is always a pleasure to see or hear from them and find out how they are getting on in the knowledge that we played a part in shaping that young person’s future.”
'A truly humbling and enriching experience'
“Fostering certainly makes you feel you are taking an active role in the community,” added Clive, who was also nominated for the roll of honour for his work supporting the community in Wokingham. “As well as helping some of the most vulnerable in it, it also gives you insights into the challenges many of them face in life. It is a truly humbling and enriching experience.
“We were interested in fostering - as many others are - out of a desire to support our community and some of the most vulnerable members of it.
“But our own child has special needs and we were concerned about the impact another child in the house would have on our own son, we had to accommodate that but continue to support our community our fostering has been largely respite. We provide support for our fellow foster carers and a known safe place for the children with them.”
Attend our information events
If you think you could become a foster carer, then sign up to attend one of our online fostering information events. There you’ll have a chance to talk to foster families, our fostering team and social workers about if it could be right for you. These events are taking place on:
- 19 May, Wednesday 12.30pm to 2pm
- 20 May, Thursday 6pm to 7.30pm
Malcolm Richards, Mayor of Wokingham Borough, said: “I’m delighted to add Clive, Kristin, Dean and Charlotte to our Covid Roll of Honour. Both families do crucial work in our community supporting young people to thrive and support them by providing happy, safe homes.
“Foster Care Fortnight is the perfect time to highlight their contribution and thank all our foster carers for their dedication and commitment during a particularly challenging year. I’d urge anyone who thinks they can make a difference in our community by fostering to attend the information events or contact our team.”
If you’d like to find out more about fostering you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0118 974 6204 or visit https://fostering.wokingham.gov.uk/
You can read the full Covid-19 Roll of Honour and nominate someone inspiring for the Roll of Honour via the council’s website. Anybody can nominate as many people or organisations as they like and all those nominated will receive a letter of thanks from the mayor.
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